Springtime in Japan is nothing less than magical. Cherry blossoms, known as sakura, capture the attention of visitors and locals as their beautiful pink flowers blanket the country in soft, colorful splendor. The cherry blossoms are not just pretty pink flowers, they are deeply symbolic in Japan.
Japanese families eagerly await this time. In every corner of the country, everybody celebrates cherry blossom festivals or simply enjoys hanami, the tradition of viewing and enjoying the beauty of the cherry blossoms. It often involves a picnic under the blooming trees with friends, family and good food and drinks. Hanami is one of the best-loved and most time-honored rituals of the country, where Japanese are most relaxed, and all public places take on a party-like atmosphere.
This tradition gives the Japanese a chance to recognize and reflect on the beauty of nature while welcoming the new season. Because of their short-lived existence, the cherry blossoms are cited as a symbol of the transient nature of life. The blossoms also, quite literally, symbolize new beginnings, with April 1 being the first day of both the financial and academic year in Japan.
Down below you can have a look at our gallery of some cherry blossoms taken by some Japanese X-Photographers.
You can find more Cherry Blossom pictures at our Pinterest Profile.